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Government takes over Lira-Kamdini road reconstruction

OYAM – The government is to take over the financing of Lira-Kamdini road which sparked off demonstration, anger and criticism from both members of parliament, LC5 Chairpersons and the communities in the Lango sub-region.

President Yoweri Museveni revealed the development after meeting leaders in the sub region at Alidi primary school in Oyam district on Saturday.

“Due to delays in securing approvals from World Bank on the environmental impact assessment, the government of Uganda will take over the road and have it fully reconstructed,” Museveni says.

Mota-Engil Africa, an international company was awarded the contract to reconstruct the 71 km (Lira-Kamdini) road in 2018 but it has since delayed.

The road has developed huge potholes making it risky for cars and heavy trucks to ply the route.

The delay sparked off anger, public outbursts and criticism from MPs, local leaders, the community and the road users. They called for a demonstration as one of the ways to show their dissatisfaction over the road they described as ‘death trap’.

Though the President intervened to curtail the protest, a section of MPs, LC5 Chairpersons and activists demonstrated while holding placards written on:  “Enough is enough. Lira-Kamdini road should be tarmacked now.”

The demonstrators included; Tonny Ayo, Bob Okae, Jonathan Odur, Paul Omara, Peter Ocen, Dorcus Acen, Kenney Auma, De Agnes Apea, Okello Lema and Christine Akello while the LC5 Chairpersons included; David Kenedy Odongo and Alex Ogwal.

Museveni said, the government has the capacity to fund the reconstruction of the road if the World Bank is over delaying.

Other roads which were approved by Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) and awaiting major reconstruction included; Dokolo-Ochero-Namsale in Amolatar, Aloi-Abim-Kotido and Corner Ayer-Aboke-Bobi in Omoro district.

“These roads were approved and currently under Ministry of Finance for pre-financing approval,” he said.

The Chairperson of Lango Parliamentary Group who is also Kole woman MP Judith Alyek also raised concerns over a total of 18,469 war claimants approved for compensation compared to 125,833 who went to court.

She urged the government especially the Office of the Attorney General to reconsider increasing the number and effect compensation.

She also tabled the challenges claimants are facing in their attempt to acquire Tax Identification Numbers (TIN).

On health service delivery, MP Alyek told the President that the sub-region has only one district hospital (Apac) yet it is comprised of nine sub-counties.

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